A prime example of an Indian luxury brand becoming global, Kama Ayurveda is on the path to travel worldwide through Puig
By: Soumya Jain Agarwal
Posted on: March 28, 2019
If you haven’t already heard, the Barcelona-based fashion and fragrance house Puig has partnered with Indian beauty brand Kama Ayurveda for a minority stake, infusing approximately INR 100 crores into the Ayurvedic brand.
While there has been quite a bit of movement going on in the Indian luxury market with mergers, acquisitions and partnerships, this one makes us significantly more honored as an Indian. It’s not just the recognition of a wonderful Indian brand, but also of an organic, ages-old Indian philosophy by a global conglomerate. This kind of news and pride doesn’t come everyday in the Indian luxury industry.
Puig owns brands such as Carolina Herrera, Nina Ricci, Paco Rabanne, Jean Paul Gaultier, Penhaligon’s and L’Artisan Parfumeur; and holds fragrance licenses for Prada, Christian Louboutin and Comme des Garçons.
Mr. Vivek Sahni, co-founder of Kama Ayurveda, is obviously exubrant. “We are very happy and extremely proud that a small homegrown Indian Beauty brand could get attention from such a large Global Luxury corporate like Puig. We are very excited about the partnership and for our future,” he said.
The story goes that it was during their travels to India that the PUIG team discovered Kama Ayurveda. They bought some products from the store, used them and absolutely loved them. That was the start of the conversation between Kama Ayurveda and Puig.
It wasn’t a quick decision for Mr. Sahni though. “We had interests from two very large conglomerates in the market. We chose Puig because of the clear synergy. They are a third generation family run business with very similar set of value systems and we found the right partner in them,” he says.
For Puig, investing into Kama Ayurveda helps them segue into an emerging market, through a beauty brand – which are a forte of the Group – giving them a chance to develop their retail business worldwide. Mr. Marc Puig, Chairman & CEO of Puig, explains, “Emerging markets outside of North America and the European Union accounted for 44% of the company’s [Puig’s] business in 2017, with a growth of 9% versus the previous year. Through this partnership with an Indian brand, Puig enters an emerging market with strong growth opportunity for beauty and fragrances.”
Kama Ayurveda, which started in 2002, currently operates 52 stand-alone and shop in shop retail outlets across India, and has a strong online presence as well. Through this partnership, Kama Ayurveda will have a strong opportunity to leverage Puig’s global presence to support its further expansion into global markets. In addition, Kama will also gain access to Puig’s expertise and resources in brand building, technology skincare and perfumery.
Puig is a formidable advocate of sustainability. As of 2017, Puig had reduced its corporate carbon footprint by 12% while still achieving a 20% business growth. The company has reduced its plastic and paper consumption in packaging and administrative use. Hundred per cent of its electricity at headquarters and production facilities comes from renewable sources. Puig’s sustainability ambitions is one more reason why Kama Ayurveda proved to be such a picture-perfect fit for the company’s investment portfolio. “The science of Ayurveda echoes to today’s consumers’ awareness and willing for authenticity and wellness. This partnership is in keeping with our company commitment to sustainable and responsible business models,” Mr. Puig said.
But the victory goes to Mr. Sahni. “The journey has definitely paid off, from when we first started, to the opening of our first store in Khan market, New Delhi, to finding the first round of investments in 2014 and now to standing at 40 exclusive stores. This will be a new chapter, to take us out globally,” says the very humble crusader.